The November election for American Canyon City Council, as well as the American Canyon seat on the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees, are shaping up to be competitive races this fall.

At least four residents have taken initial steps to become official candidates for the two City Council seats on the November ballot.

Meanwhile, a fifth resident and local teacher has decided to challenge the incumbent for NVC District 3, which covers American Canyon.

On the City Council front, two incumbents — Mark Joseph and David Oro — had taken out nomination papers from the City Clerk’s Office, along with two potential challengers: Pierre Washington and Jason Kishineff.

As of July 27, Washington had turned in his nomination papers along with the required 20 signatures of local registered voters, according to City Clerk Suellen Johnston.

The other three have until Aug. 10 to file their paperwork at City Hall.

Washington, 54, is a retired Richmond police detective now serving as the corporate security director for Roche-Genentech in Vacaville. He served in the U.S. Navy for 11 years, and another 11 years in the reserves.

Married with seven children, Washington has lived in American Canyon for 12 years.

“I’m running for City Council to build on an already amazing American Canyon to ensure the safety of our city, cleaner neighborhoods that offer everyone economic opportunities and to be your voice,” Washington wrote in an email to the Eagle.

“To do that, residents must have access and actively participate in shaping neighborhood‐based solutions to the challenges we face every day,” he added. “That’s why my door will always be open to you.”

Kishineff, a 48-year-old homemaker, has lived in American Canyon for nine years. He said he’s running for City Council “because I think we need decisiveness and progressive leadership.”

The election will not be his first run for office. Kishineff ran as the Green Party candidate against Congressman Mike Thompson in the June primary.

He received 5,458 votes, or 3.6 percent of the ballots cast in the June 5 primary. He came in last among the four candidates.

Under California election law, only the two top vote getters advance to the November election. Those were Thompson and Anthony Mills (no party preference).

As for Oro and Joseph, both incumbents are expected to file their nomination papers and run in November.

For Oro, the election will mark his first campaign. He was appointed to the City Council in February 2017 to fill the seat of Belia Ramos, who was elected to the Napa County Board of Supervisors in November 2016.

Joseph has served two terms on the council. He ran unopposed for reelection in 2014.

All council seats are elected at-large. The two candidates who receive the most votes will win the election.

The council’s other three members — Mayor Leon Garcia and Councilmembers Kenneth Leary and Mariam Aboudamous — will not be up for election until 2020.

On the Napa Valley College front, American Canyon High School teacher Elizabeth Goff announced on Monday that she will run for District 3, currently held by Mary Ann Mancuso of American Canyon.

Mancuso in response announced on Tuesday that she intends to run for reelection, setting up a competitive race for the seat.

Born and raised in Napa, Goff has lived in American Canyon for the past 13 years and taught English at local schools for 17 years.

She taught at American Canyon Middle School for nine years before shifting to American Canyon High School when it opened in 2010.

Goff has held leadership positions at the high school, worked with various student leadership groups, coached athletic teams, and mentored new teachers.

She also has been active in the community, volunteering in many local efforts and serving on the American Canyon Parks and Community Services Commission.

“My experience in both the business world and in public education gives me a dual perspective that will assist the college in building programs that benefit all students,” Goff said in a press release. “I will bring the same passion to the Napa Valley College Board that I bring to all the activities in which I am involved.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Davis, Goff worked 16 years in the insurance industry before earning a secondary teaching credential from Sonoma State University.

Mancuso was appointed to the NVC Board of Trustees in 2013, and elected to her seat in 2014 without any challengers. 

She spent 13 years on the regional Workforce Investment Board overseeing state and federal employment programs, and has over 30 years in the staffing industry specializing in connecting potential employees to employers in competitive high demand fields, according to her press release.

“We need to ensure that Napa Valley College is a place where we can train and educate students in a labor and job market that is ever changing, whether that student is coming directly from American Canyon High School or is an individual seeking a career change in a new occupation or aspires to grow in the field in which they are already in,” said Mancuso.

She listed some of her endorsements for reelection, including Congressman Mike Thompson, state Senator Kevin de León, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, County Supervisor Belia Ramos, Mayor Leon Garcia, City Councilmembers David Oro and Mark Joseph and NVC Trustees Kyle Iverson and Rosaura Segura.

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American Canyon Eagle editor

Noel Brinkerhoff has been editor of the American Canyon Eagle since 2014. Prior to that he covered state politics in Sacramento for the California Journal.